Although the landscapes within Montezuma Castle National Monument may appear harsh and unchanging, the desert ecosystem is continually evolving. Weather, climatic shifts, and geologic processes continue to shape this environment as they have for millennia. More recently, human-caused factors such as air, noise, and water pollution, as well as introduced species, have had a much greater impact on natural resources world-wide. The undeveloped landscapes of Montezuma Castle and Montezuma Well provide an ideal place to study how various environmental factors affect desert ecosystems, and predict what changes might be expected in the future.
Did You Know?
Illinois Pondweed, Potamogeton illinoensis, is an invasive species at Montezuma Well. Although the ducks love to eat it, Rangers must rake the pondweed out each week to avoid clogging the Outlet allowing water in the prehistoric canal to run free.